This weekend is the first Sunday of Lent. Mark gives a very brief account of the temptation of Jesus. We do not get a list of temptations nor of Jesus’ responses. The little detail we are given is that angels came to minister to him.
In this Gospel, the Father says to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (v. 11). Jesus is the Son of God—Jesus is God. Does he really need help combating Satan? This verbal and spiritual battle is between God and Satan, yet the angels are present. We can assume that God the Father sent the angels, but why? It is not to fight Satan in Jesus’ place, but simply to be with him during this time in the desert.
This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:
God’s love for us is so great that we too have angels all around us—not just heavenly creatures, but people through whom God leads us into a closer relationship with him. Lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many ways God graces us each day, especially through the many people he sends to be our angels.
I am reminded of times of difficulties in my own life and the people who gathered around me. I received so much strength and comfort simply because I was accompanied. I could have easily dismissed their actions because they weren’t doing great acts. No, they sat with me, listened to me pour out my heart, and/or prayed for me. From their simple acts of love, God’s blessings and graces have reached me.
As countless others have ministered to us, we can ask God for the grace to be open to go to the people that he wishes to send us to as messengers of his love. Just as the angels were sent by God to minister to Jesus, God sends us to minister to Jesus in all we do for our brothers and sisters.